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Saturday, October 3, 2009



By Shalika Ranaweera

The future of this country are the school children and their well being is very important to the society. Some incidents taking place in the schools already shows a bad signal and our school children are not really in a position to handle some of the problems on their own.

It is a pathetic situation that the students see the best option available as committing suicide for small issues.

To get the opinion regarding this situation the Daily Mirror contacted some professionals in the field of education yesterday.

Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana

Dhanapala Wijesinghe, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Sri Jayawardanepura

The socialization of children is the main reason for this problem. Socialization is the way how we train a child to behave in an accepted manner in society and direct them to a good life style.

It is a life long process and through the socialization we develop the personality. Socialization trains the people to integrate with society. Integration is an important fact because it is the pathway to learn how to live in society and adopt the conditions prevailing in society.

There are different levels of integration. If the student’s level of integration is low he or she would not interact properly in society and try to lead a solitary life. They prefer being alone than in a company.

If the level of integration is high they tend to lead highly committed social lives abiding by norms and customs. High levels of integration help them to build their personalities and they are capable of sharing their good and bad. As they have enough people around them they have the chance of sharing all their problems. Even before taking a critical decision like committing suicide they would discuss their problems with friends.

But solitary confined children take unto themselves and develop an egoism. To avoid this type of incidents, parents must develop a strong relationship with their children. Weak integration reflects the weakness prevailing within the family.

Family should be one entity and share everything within the family. Then children develop confidence in their parents and they would divulge all their problems to the parents. Other than this the idea of freedom has been misused in society. Earlier in our traditional society parents had a control over the children and allowed them certain freedom. Society had been able to make an impact on the children’s behaviour as well.

But the Western concept on freedom is controversial to this. Children are given much more freedom and parents think that they should not intervene into children’s problem.

I personally believe that the parents should be more inquisitive and look into what their children are up to. If not, the children would enjoy their freedom in a wrong manner.

It is a fact that the weaker integration with the family and society would persuade them to make their own decisions. Their solitary life would lead to several psychological problems and breaks the psychological equilibrium. That also disturbs the tolerance levels of the students.

When it escalates into higher level, students tend to get various ideas. Some retrieve, some commit suicide, that depends on the level of experience they have received.

To solve these type of problems, the best option is that we as adults should not allow children to become solitary in their lives. Parents must be watchful about their children’s behaviour and should be aware of their associates.

Parents and teachers should observe the children carefully and assist them to solve their problems in an appropriate way. There should not be any secrets in the family and the children would not fear to come up with their problems.

A highly integrated child would never commit suicide because when he/she takes the decision all the relationships, loving and affectionate people in the child’s surrounding would come to their mind. That would definitely avoid those hasty decisions taken by them.

Deputy Principal, Royal College, Colombo

Students took those hasty decisions because they did not have the strength to solve their own problems.

The media is responsible for the repetition of these incidents. They highlight those incidents and figures as if those who committed suicide are heroines. That sets a bad example for those weaker students. Sometimes the TV channels narrate the story while performing suicide. But it is not the proper thing that they should do. Media must correct the wrong in it.

Teachers are there to correct students and they should point out their mistakes.

All students do not have the same capability to bear problems. That might be due to the way they were brought up in the family. Any way the schools are there to leverage those shortcomings.

At the same time parents should be helpful in solving the problems of the children and they must not exert pressure on them. Parents must not try to achieve what they could not through their children.

Through counselling there is a possibility of solving the student’s problem. Parents should develop a friendly environment at home as well.

Ajith Liyanage – Businessman

Now both the students and the parents are busy and they live in their own world. Earlier the situation in our families was different and the parents had enough time to listen to their children. Parents were willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of their children. Now the children live away from their parents and they see each other rarely. So the child has no way of sharing their problems with the parents, thereby the children are isolated in their own world and there is nobody to direct them in the correct path.

Chaminda Dandeniya – A graduate

Now the society is more complicated and the students have more exposure to the world, they have to spend more time out of the family in a tuition class or in a boarding house, thereby the students build up unnecessary relationships that puts them in the wrong path.

Vindya Wickramanayake – Teacher

Students are weak in their thinking and they should develop their advance thinking. They should share their problems with the parents. It is definite that the school supports us in building our personality but the most important fact is family bond between parents and children. If that bond is high children would have courage to solve the problems in a better way.

Roshini Perera – Audit Trainee

Students must develop good relationship with their families. Now the competition is high and students have no time to communicate with their parents. The parents are also busy and they let their children grow in their own way, thereby parents do not know the friends of their children and this leads to many of these problems.

Mayasiri Dias – Driver

These incidents occurred due to the inborn weakness of the students.

They are not in a position to think far and get their own decisions correctly. These types of incidents are common in the city.

In rural areas the family bond is high and children do not take decisions haphazardly.


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